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Fake Sox Game 65: A big third inning hands Boston a series win

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They needed some momentum coming their way.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21.

Our Fake Sox have lost each of their last two series and four of their last five, so they are looking to get some momentum back on their side in this season. They had a chance to take this series back at home against the Brewers with a win on Sunday after winning Saturday to even things up. For the rubber match, they had Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound going up against Brandon Woodruff.

Rodriguez has been wildly inconsistent all season long, and very early on in this one it sure looked like it wasn’t going to be his day or the Red Sox’s in general. Lorenzo Cain started things off with an infield single and then immediately moved up to second base on a wild pitch. Ryan Braun quickly took advantage of that with a base hit of his own, and two batters into the game Milwaukee had a 1-0 lead. After Christian Yelich drew a walk, Rodriguez finally got the first out on a strikeout but then issued another walk to load the bases with just one out. He’d get another strikeout to nearly escape, but Tim Beckham smacked a base hit of his own to bring two more home, and before the Red Sox even got an at bat they were trailing 3-0.

On the other side, the Red Sox offense had a frustrating couple of innings to start things off. In the first they only sent three to the plate despite a one-out walk because Rafael Devers grounded into an inning-ending double play. In the second, Xander Bogaerts came through with a one-out double and moved up to third with just one out on a wild pitch, but he would be stranded there to keep Boston off the board through two.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, didn’t quite improve but he was able to work his way out of a couple jams in his next couple of innings. The second wasn’t really his fault because after a quick first out he got a ground ball over to third base but Devers booted it behind the bag and allowed the runner to reach on an error. That was followed up with a single to put two on with just one out, but the Brewers couldn’t score. In the third, Milwaukee got back-to-back singles to lead things off, but Rodriguez got a fielder’s choice, a strikeout and a fly out after that to once again walk the tightrope and keep the score at 3-0 Brewers.

Then, in the bottom of the third, the tide started to change in a big way. It didn’t look like it at first as Mitch Moreland led things off with a single but then that was followed with two quick outs. Alex Verdugo kept the inning alive with a base hit, though, and then Devers made up for his error and double play. The third baseman ripped a double into the right field corner to bring both runners home, and even made it over to third on the throw back in. With Boston now within one, J.D. Martinez tied the game up quickly with an RBI single, and then after a Bogaerts base hit there were two men on once again. This time it was Jackie Bradley Jr. coming through as he ripped a ball way out to the triangle for a two-run triple. Christian Vázquez brought one more home with a double, and thanks to the huge two-out rally the Red Sox left the third with a 6-3 lead.

That would be it from the Boston lineup for a few innings, so it was now on the pitching to keep the Brewers off the board and maintain the lead. Rodriguez once again found himself in a bit of trouble in the fourth thanks to a leadoff single and then a one-out single to put runners on the corners with just one out for Christian Yelich. Braun handed the Red Sox a gift, though, by getting thrown out trying to steal second for the second out of the inning, and then Yelich flew out to center field and it was another shaky but scoreless inning for the Boston southpaw.

Rodriguez settled down a bit in the fifth allowing just a walk in a scoreless inning, and then in the sixth he hit the first batter he faced before getting the first out and having that be the end of his day. He certainly wasn’t dominant, but he kept the Brewers off the board after that first inning. Now it was up to the Red Sox bullpen, which has been extremely shaky of late.

Ryan Brasier took care of that, though. He struck out the first two batters he faced in that sixth to end the inning. The offense added one more in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double from Verdugo, and then Brasier came back out and struck out the side in the seventh. He’d then get a ground out to start the eighth to finish off his dominant outing and hand the ball over to Matt Barnes. He wasn’t quite so dominant, giving up a leadoff single and then after a strikeout giving up a double. Suddenly Milwaukee had two in scoring position with the Red Sox up 7-3, but Barnes got a routine fly ball out to right field to strand the runners and keep that same lead. He’d come out for the ninth as well and breeze through a 1-2-3 inning, and that was that.

The 7-3 victory pushed the Red Sox record to 35-30, and with the Yankees dropping their game on Sunday the deficit in the division fell back to just 1.5 games. After the game, Tzu-Wei Lin cleared waivers after being designated for assignment earlier in the week and was assigned back to Pawtucket.

Around the league, the Players of the Week were Ehire Adrianza in the American League and Pete Alonso in the National League. The struggling Cubs, meanwhile, suffered a big blow losing Anthony Rizzo for five to six weeks with a sprained thumb. There was also a trade with the Padres sending Jurickson Profar to the White Sox for minor leaguers Yolbert Sanchez and Kade McClure.

Down on the farm, Rusney Castillo picked up five hits but the PawSox still lost in 15 innings, The Sea Dogs got a walk off victory, Pedro Castellanos had three doubles and Roniel Raudes tossed five scoreless for Salem but they still lost 7-0, Greenville lost despite getting 15 hits and drawing nine walks, and the two DSL teams each lost with Albert Feliz hitting a home run.

With today being Sunday, at the bottom you can see the full season stats for all Red Sox players as well as full MLB standings.